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Vol. 57, No. 4, 2008
Issue release date: September 2008
Free Access
Neuropsychobiology 2008;57:165–180
(DOI:10.1159/000147470)

Dance Clubbing on MDMA and during Abstinence from Ecstasy/MDMA: Prospective Neuroendocrine and Psychobiological Changes

Parrott A.C.a · Lock J.a · Conner A.C.c · Kissling C.b · Thome J.b
aDepartment of Psychology and bSchool of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea, and cWarwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Warwick, UK
email Corresponding Author

Abstract

Background/Aims: The present study is the first to prospectively compare a group of recreational Ecstasy users when dance clubbing on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and when clubbing during abstinence from Ecstasy/MDMA. Methods: Twelve normal healthy volunteers (mean age = 23.2 years) were assessed at a Saturday night dance club under self-administered MDMA. On the other weekend they went to the same dance club without taking MDMA (order counterbalanced). Both conditions involved 5 test sessions conducted at similar times: pre-drug baseline, 1 h post-drug clubbing, 2.5 h post-drug clubbing, and 2 and 4 days later. The assessments included body and ambient temperature, physical activity (pedometer), as well as self-ratings for mood state, physical activity, thermal comfort and thirst. Saliva samples were analyzed for MDMA, cortisol and testosterone. Results: The cortisol levels increased significantly by 800% when dance clubbing on MDMA, while testosterone increased significantly by 75%; neither neuroendocrine measure was altered during abstinence. Saliva analyses confirmed the presence of MDMA when dancing on Ecstasy and its absence when dancing off Ecstasy. The pedometer values and self-rated levels of dancing were similar at both weekends. Hot and cold flushes and feeling hot increased significantly under MDMA. The mean body temperature did not change significantly, although there was a borderline trend for increased values after MDMA. Feelings of happiness and excitement increased under MDMA, although they were not significantly greater than when clubbing during abstinence. Conclusions: Neurohormonal release may be an important part of the acute MDMA experience. The large cortisol increase provides further data on the bioenergetic stress model of recreational Ecstasy/MDMA.


 goto top of outline Key Words

  • 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
  • Ecstasy
  • Cortisol
  • Testosterone
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Temperature
  • Energy
  • Stress
  • Serotonin

 goto top of outline Abstract

Background/Aims: The present study is the first to prospectively compare a group of recreational Ecstasy users when dance clubbing on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and when clubbing during abstinence from Ecstasy/MDMA. Methods: Twelve normal healthy volunteers (mean age = 23.2 years) were assessed at a Saturday night dance club under self-administered MDMA. On the other weekend they went to the same dance club without taking MDMA (order counterbalanced). Both conditions involved 5 test sessions conducted at similar times: pre-drug baseline, 1 h post-drug clubbing, 2.5 h post-drug clubbing, and 2 and 4 days later. The assessments included body and ambient temperature, physical activity (pedometer), as well as self-ratings for mood state, physical activity, thermal comfort and thirst. Saliva samples were analyzed for MDMA, cortisol and testosterone. Results: The cortisol levels increased significantly by 800% when dance clubbing on MDMA, while testosterone increased significantly by 75%; neither neuroendocrine measure was altered during abstinence. Saliva analyses confirmed the presence of MDMA when dancing on Ecstasy and its absence when dancing off Ecstasy. The pedometer values and self-rated levels of dancing were similar at both weekends. Hot and cold flushes and feeling hot increased significantly under MDMA. The mean body temperature did not change significantly, although there was a borderline trend for increased values after MDMA. Feelings of happiness and excitement increased under MDMA, although they were not significantly greater than when clubbing during abstinence. Conclusions: Neurohormonal release may be an important part of the acute MDMA experience. The large cortisol increase provides further data on the bioenergetic stress model of recreational Ecstasy/MDMA.

Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel


 goto top of outline References
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  4. Parrott AC: MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or Ecstasy: the neuropsychobiological implications of taking it at dances and raves. Neuropsychobiology 2004b;50:329–335.
  5. Schifano F: Potential human neurotoxicity of MDMA (‘Ecstasy’): subjective self-reports, evidence form an Italian drug addiction centre and clinical case studies. Neuropsychobiology 2000;42:25–33.
  6. Zhou JF, Chen P, Zhou YH, Zhang L, Chen HH: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine abuse may cause oxidative stress and potential free radical damage. Free Radic Res 2003;37:491–497.
  7. Green AR, Mechan AO, Elliott JM, O’Shea E, Colado MI: The pharmacology and clinical pharmacology of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘Ecstasy’). Pharmacol Rev 2003;55:463–508.
  8. Green A, O’Shea E, Colado I: A review of the mechanisms involved in the acute MDMA(Ecstasy)-induced hyperthermic response. Eur J Pharmacol 2004b;500:3–13.
  9. Morton J: Ecstasy: pharmacology and neurotoxicity. Curr Opin Pharmacol 2005;5:79–86.
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    External Resources


 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Professor A.C. Parrott
Department of Psychology
Swansea University
Swansea SA2 8PP (UK)
Tel. +44 1792 295 271, Fax +44 1792 295 679, E-Mail a.c.parrott@swansea.ac.uk


 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: September 12, 2007
Accepted after revision: April 9, 2008
Published online: July 24, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 16
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 4, Number of References : 85


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Neuropsychobiology (International Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research in Biological Psychiatry, Pharmacopsychiatry, Biological Psychology/Pharmacopsychology and Pharmacoelectroencephalography)

Vol. 57, No. 4, Year 2008 (Cover Date: September 2008)

Journal Editor: Strik W. (Bern)
ISSN: 0302–282X (Print), eISSN: 1423–0224 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NPS


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

Abstract

Background/Aims: The present study is the first to prospectively compare a group of recreational Ecstasy users when dance clubbing on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and when clubbing during abstinence from Ecstasy/MDMA. Methods: Twelve normal healthy volunteers (mean age = 23.2 years) were assessed at a Saturday night dance club under self-administered MDMA. On the other weekend they went to the same dance club without taking MDMA (order counterbalanced). Both conditions involved 5 test sessions conducted at similar times: pre-drug baseline, 1 h post-drug clubbing, 2.5 h post-drug clubbing, and 2 and 4 days later. The assessments included body and ambient temperature, physical activity (pedometer), as well as self-ratings for mood state, physical activity, thermal comfort and thirst. Saliva samples were analyzed for MDMA, cortisol and testosterone. Results: The cortisol levels increased significantly by 800% when dance clubbing on MDMA, while testosterone increased significantly by 75%; neither neuroendocrine measure was altered during abstinence. Saliva analyses confirmed the presence of MDMA when dancing on Ecstasy and its absence when dancing off Ecstasy. The pedometer values and self-rated levels of dancing were similar at both weekends. Hot and cold flushes and feeling hot increased significantly under MDMA. The mean body temperature did not change significantly, although there was a borderline trend for increased values after MDMA. Feelings of happiness and excitement increased under MDMA, although they were not significantly greater than when clubbing during abstinence. Conclusions: Neurohormonal release may be an important part of the acute MDMA experience. The large cortisol increase provides further data on the bioenergetic stress model of recreational Ecstasy/MDMA.



 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Professor A.C. Parrott
Department of Psychology
Swansea University
Swansea SA2 8PP (UK)
Tel. +44 1792 295 271, Fax +44 1792 295 679, E-Mail a.c.parrott@swansea.ac.uk


 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: September 12, 2007
Accepted after revision: April 9, 2008
Published online: July 24, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 16
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 4, Number of References : 85


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Neuropsychobiology (International Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research in Biological Psychiatry, Pharmacopsychiatry, Biological Psychology/Pharmacopsychology and Pharmacoelectroencephalography)

Vol. 57, No. 4, Year 2008 (Cover Date: September 2008)

Journal Editor: Strik W. (Bern)
ISSN: 0302–282X (Print), eISSN: 1423–0224 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NPS


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

References

  1. Bedi G, Redman J: Recreational Ecstasy use: acute effects potentiated by ambient conditions? Neuropsychobiology 2006;53:113.
  2. Dumont GJ, Verkes RJ: A review of acute effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine in healthy volunteers. J Psychopharmacol 2006;20:176–187.
  3. Parrott AC: Human research on MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) neurotoxicity: cognitive and behavioural indices of change. Neuropsychobiology 2000;42:17–24.
  4. Parrott AC: MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or Ecstasy: the neuropsychobiological implications of taking it at dances and raves. Neuropsychobiology 2004b;50:329–335.
  5. Schifano F: Potential human neurotoxicity of MDMA (‘Ecstasy’): subjective self-reports, evidence form an Italian drug addiction centre and clinical case studies. Neuropsychobiology 2000;42:25–33.
  6. Zhou JF, Chen P, Zhou YH, Zhang L, Chen HH: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine abuse may cause oxidative stress and potential free radical damage. Free Radic Res 2003;37:491–497.
  7. Green AR, Mechan AO, Elliott JM, O’Shea E, Colado MI: The pharmacology and clinical pharmacology of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘Ecstasy’). Pharmacol Rev 2003;55:463–508.
  8. Green A, O’Shea E, Colado I: A review of the mechanisms involved in the acute MDMA(Ecstasy)-induced hyperthermic response. Eur J Pharmacol 2004b;500:3–13.
  9. Morton J: Ecstasy: pharmacology and neurotoxicity. Curr Opin Pharmacol 2005;5:79–86.
  10. Carlezon WA Jr, Thome J, Olson VG, Lane-Ladd SB, Brodkin ES, Hiroi N, Duman RS, Neve RL, Nestler EJ: Regulation of cocaine reward by CREB. Science 1998;282:2272–2275.
  11. Parrott AC: MDMA in humans: factors which affect the neuropsychobiological profiles of recreational Ecstasy users, the integrative role of bioenergetic stress. J Psychopharmacol 2006;20:147–163.
  12. Tancer ME, Johanson CE: The effects of fluoxetine on the subjective and physiological effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in humans. Psychopharmacology 2007;189:565–573.
  13. Cohen RS: The Love Drug. Marching to the Beat of Ecstasy. New York, Haworth Medical Press, 1998.
  14. Parrott AC: Human psychopharmacology of Ecstasy (MDMA): a review of fifteen years of empirical research. Hum Psychopharmacol 2001;16:557–577.
  15. Parrott AC: Is Ecstasy MDMA? A review of the proportion of Ecstasy tablets containing MDMA, dosage levels, and the changing perceptions of purity. Psychopharmacology 2004a;173:234–241.
  16. Curran HV, Travill RA: Mood and cognitive effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘Ecstasy’): weekend ‘high’ followed by mid-week ‘low’. Addiction 1997;92:821–831.
  17. Curran VH, Rees H, Hoare T, Hoshi R, Bond A: Empathy and aggression: two faces of Ecstasy? A study of interpretative cognitive bias and mood change in Ecstasy users. Psychopharmacology 2004;173:425–433.
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